Vigor Alaska is nearing completion of the second of two 280’x70′, 300-passenger, 53-vehicle Alaska-class ferries for the Alaska Marine Highway System, according to a report in The Seattle Times. The first of the two ferries, Tazlina, was launched in May and christened Aug. 11, the first state ferry built in Alaska. The second ferry, Hubbard, scheduled for completion in March 2019. The Tazlina is slated to enter service in May 2019.
The Times reported that AMHS had announced last minute plans to alter the new ferries by adding crews’ quarters to the boats in order to help standardize the fleet and add to the vessels’ capabilities. However, Vigor’s director of shipyard development, Doug Ward, said the modifications will not immediately take place and the ferries will be delivered as day boats.
Back in August, the Ketchikan Daily News reported that Vigor Alaska expected to lay off 50 to 80 workers at its Ketchikan, Alaska, shipyard during the fourth quarter as the company winds down from building the new AMHS ferries.
However, Vigor is looking to help those workers get the first crack at opportunities at other company locations and on other projects.
One of those is Department of Defense work far off the water, at the Fort Greely Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) site south of Fairbanks, Alaska. The anti-ballistic missile interceptor-launching base has been expanding in response to the threat of North Korea’s missiles, and Vigor has a contract for fabrication and installation work next year. Workforce requirements are still being developed.